Research

Peer Reviewed Publications

PhD Chapters

Do Natural Resources make countries poor at taxation?

We exploit the exogenous variation in the timing of giant oil and gas discoveries to estimate the causal impact of natural resources on taxation. It has often been argued that countries that produce natural resources mobilize less non-resource tax revenues than other countries. The timing of giant oil discoveries is arguably exogenous and thus renders them appealing to empirically examine this argument. This allows one to examine the performance of non-resource tax revenue effort before and immediately after discovery as well as the period corresponding to the inflow of revenues from the production. We do find that non-resource tax revenues tend to increase for the first two years after a discovery. When we disaggregate non-resource tax revenues into direct and indirect components, we do find that non-resource indirect tax revenues tend to increase in both the preproduction and production periods. Further analysis shows that non-resource tax revenues experience an increase in non-high income countries while the positive effect on indirect tax revenues in both the pre-production and production is present (absent) only in non-high income (high income) countries. This effect is largely driven by an increase in the consumption of goods and services. The results suggest that the abundance of natural resources might not be a reason why some of these countries mobilize less non-resource tax revenues.

Chinese Development Aid and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Tanzania (Latest draft available upon request)

Improvement in agricultural productivity plays a key role in the process of economic development. Investment in critical infrastructure has been documented in the literature as one of the pathways to boost agricultural productivity. In this paper, we ask whether foreign aid aimed at economic and social infrastructure can help improve agriculture productivity in Tanzania. To do so we combine household panel data with rich farm level information with geocoded Chinese development projects. We then exploit the the within village level variation in the total number of Chinese financed development projects in a panel fixed effects model to examine their effects of on agricultural productivity. Preliminary results indicates a positive effect on agricultural productivity in villages that are located within 25km of these projects. This is largely driven by economic infrastructure.

Commodity booms, manufacturing exports and exporter dynamics (in progress)

Despite the inconclusiveness of the empirical literature on Dutch disease, little is known about the impact of commodity windfalls on the intensive and extensive margin of manufacturing exports as well as how this differs by the type of exporter. We contribute to the literature on the macroeconomic impact of natural booms by examining the impact of the commodity booms of the 2000s on manufacturing exports along the intensive and extensive margins and how this differs by exporter type. Secondly, we examine the impact of commodity booms on exporter dynamics: entry rate, exit rate, product entry rate and product destination entry and exit rates. Lastly, we examine the role of initial conditions in amplifying or dampening these effects.

Technical Report

Gender dynamics in cashew and shea value chains from Ghana and Burkina Faso (with Ingram, V. J., Yago-Quattara, E. L., Mogre, D., Wijnands, J., & van den Berg, J.)

Works in Progress

  • Automated detection of PFM Risks in mining and petroleum contracts (joint with Flavien Moreau and Antoine Arnoud )

  • Weather Variation, Economic Activity and Structural Transformation in Africa

  • Commodity Price shocks and Chinese Loan Commitment to developing countries

  • Tax Structure and Renewable Energy Consumption in Africa

  • News shock and Spatial Reallocation: Evidence from petroleum discovery in Uganda